An effort is afoot at the State Capitol to roll back vital environmental protections for the Mississippi River Critical Area – a 72 mile protected corridor that runs from Dayton to Hastings. Bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to repeal Minn. Statutes §116G.15, which directed the DNR to update minimum standards and guidelines for river corridor development through state rules.
Can you take a few moments to contact your State Representative and ask him or her to oppose the bill to repeal the Mississippi River Critical Area? A link to the State Legislature's contact information, suggested talking points and a few sample letters are at the end of this message.
You don't have to send a long complicated explanation (unless you want to). Your legislators just need to hear from their constituents that they should oppose House File 95 and Senate File 39. Be sure to put your name and address on the correspondence so they know you live in their district.
If you have questions or want additional information. Please contact Irene Jones, FMR's River Corridor Program Director at
or 651/222-2193 ext. 11.
Contact information for Minnesota State Legislators
Background and suggested talking points
- The 72-mile Mississippi River Corridor in the Twin Cities was designated as a State Critical Area in 1976, because of its unique natural, scenic, cultural, historical and recreational resources – shared community assets that improve Minnesota's economy and quality of life.
- The Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area is a resource of regional, statewide and national significance that requires special management to retain its health and vitality.
- Designated a part of our National Park System in 1988, the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA) relies upon the State Critical Area framework to ensure protection of park resources.
- The Mississippi River is a drinking water source for more than 20 million Americans. Unfortunately, every mile of the river in the MRCCA fails to meet State standards for water quality. New standards are needed to reduce runoff pollution to the river.
- Repeal of 116G.15 would end a 35-year tradition of bipartisan support for protecting the Mississippi River Critical Area.
- Repeal sends a strong message that the State of Minnesota does not have an interest in protecting the natural and cultural values of the Mississippi River Critical Area.
- State rulemaking is the best way to modernize standards and guidelines for protection and enhancement of the Critical Area and National Park.
Sample letters to your State Legislator
I am writing to ask you to oppose the bill to repeal the Mississippi River Critical Area.
My family has lived in this area for many years, and one of the reasons we love it here so much is because of our wonderful rivers, lakes and natural areas. We like to spend time hiking, boating and fishing on the Mississippi River.
I am very concerned that some legislators want to reverse these important protections for our great river. The Mississippi River is very important to the people of our community and we need your help to make sure it's protected for our children and future generations.
I am shocked and concerned to find out that a bill has been introduced at the legislature to repeal rulemaking for the Mississippi River Critical Area (HF 95 and SF 39). The Mississippi River in the Twin Cities is a very special place and it is even a National Park.
I strongly believe that new rules for the critical area are the best way to take care of the river's unique natural and cultural resources – resources that are precious to many people in this community. The river belongs to everyone and I just think it makes sense to have state laws and rules that protect something that is so important to the State of Minnesota.
For the sake of our river and our community, please vote against this bill.
Thank you for your consideration,
Please vote against the bill to repeal critical area rulemaking for the Mississippi River. A clean and healthy river is important to our local economy and quality of life. Plus, my understanding is that these rules are almost done, and if the repeal goes through, we would be wasting half a million dollars at the taxpayer's expense.
I hope you will do the right thing for the river and oppose this reckless bill.